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PKK claims responsibility for Tokat assault

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires | 12/10/2009 12:00:00 AM |

The military wing of the outlawed PKK has claimed responsibility for the assault on Turkish military forces in Tokat on Monday, the Fırat news agency has announced.

The military wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has claimed responsibility for the assault on Turkish military forces in Tokat on Monday, the Fırat news agency has announced.

The assault occurred in the Reşadiye rural area of Tokat and cost the lives of six privates and one sergeant, leaving three others wounded. As the soldiers were buried in their hometowns, many people protested the recent Kurdish initiative.

According to the statement by the military wing of the PKK, the assault was carried out by a group that acted on its own initiative, without orders from the command center. The statement criticized the Turkish military’s ongoing operations, the death of university student Aydın Erdem during protests in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Sunday and the prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan, the convicted leader of the PKK.

It also stated that although the command center does not give orders to assault, the military units have the right to take the initiative.

The attack was made by seven people who were lead by Celal Başkale, who used the nickname “Mahir,” the Doğan news agency reported. Military forces detected that Başkale, using his nickname, had spoken on the phone with PKK member Süleyman Şahin about the attack once. However, their location could not be found as they did not speak on the phone again. 

After Monday’s attack, more special security forces from Sivas Police Headquarters were sent to the area.

An association founded by the families of killed soldiers has meanwhile filed a complaint against the Diyarbakır branch of the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, for “encouraging people to hate and hostility,” the Anatolia news agency reported Thursday.

Members of the Association to Serve All Families of Martyrs gathered in front of the courthouse in Ankara holding Turkish flags and made their complaint against the DTP’s provincial branch over the clashes in Diyarbakır on Dec. 6.

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